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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Label Searches, Using Combinations Of Labels

Blog owners have been asking for the ability to search for posts using label combinations, for a while.

That option was given us, some time ago - with no fanfare. What we now have is called a "Boolean" label search.

It's not difficult to use a Boolean label search - when you understand what it does.

Here are 3 examples, from this blog.

Here are 3 labels, and their label search URLs, chosen "at random" from this blog.


Combining the 3 labels, we get


It's actually easier to do it, than to read about it - but if you wish, you can click on each of the above 8 links (all using " target="_blank"", to open separately, for your convenience), and compare the posts indexed.

Be aware of the limits, and use this option selectively.

There are 3 unfortunate limits, here.

  1. You can't use the "+" symbol, in a label. I have a label for "Google+", in this blog, which does not work.
  2. You can only do "+" (Boolean "AND" / "Intersection") combinations, no "-" (Boolean "OR" / "Union") combinations.
  3. You have to build the lists, and the URLs, yourself. There is no handy Topics list, that supports selecting 2, 3, or more labels.

But, if you can deal with the limitations, this is a pretty powerful option.

Dude, hit me with a comment!

Adam said...

Very nice discovery! But—it works on one of my blogs, but not on another.

Any idea why not? Is there something that needs to be in the template for this to work?

Chuck Croll said...

Adam,

By "does not work" I would guess you mean a white box test where you identified some group of posts that have a given label combination. Like I did with "comments, cookies, filters", to get "Comments+Cookies+Filters"?

The first thing I would check would be capitalisation. Labels are case sensitive - but in a perverse way. Blogger went through several different case sensitivity policies, before getting where they are.

Remember that label searches are URLs - so they must follow Internet URL conventions.

Anyway, your blog has 1 post with "Brock", and another 1 post with "Swaar" - so no hits from "Brock+Swaar". Remember this is an "AND" (Venn "Intersection") not "OR" (Venn "Union") Boolean search. So, it works.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2015/01/use-mixed-case-urls-carefully.html